Only in L.A. / People and Events

STEVE HARVEY, <i> From staff and wire reports</i>

It isn’t easy planning the world’s first rock seance.

Just ask promoter Loni Specter, who is hoping for guest appearances from the spirits of Jimi Hendrix, Duane Allman and three other deceased guitarists at the L.A. Guitar Show tonight.


Specter had to interview several prospective mediums before finding a taker, whose identity he won’t reveal.

“A couple (of mediums) thought it would be too hard to get all the spectators to settle down,” Specter said.

Another thought it would be too hard to get the guitarists’ spirits to settle down.

And still another medium turned down the job for a very earthly reason.

“He wanted more money than we would pay him,” Specter said.

A reporter noticed that some of the suspected fake art pieces displayed by Los Angeles police at a press conference were stowed in a shopping cart bearing the name of an Asian supermarket.

What was the market’s shopping cart doing at Parker Center?

Said one quick-thinking officer: “It must have been a piece of evidence that was never claimed by the owner.”

Responding to Michael Tscheekar’s query about how to pronounce the name of the street sign (in photo) near Los Angeles International Airport, Clyde Flowers of Long Beach suggests: “One Hundred Eleventy-First Street.” But Terri Murphy of Oxnard and David Dassey of Los Angeles opt for “Eleventy-First Street.”

Dassey points out that the opening chapter of Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” mentions one Frodo Baggins, who is about to celebrate his “eleventy-first birthday,” marking his passage from childhood to hobbithood.

No doubt the city street-sign painter was a big Tolkien fan.

Welcome to L.A.:

San Francisco Dist. Atty. Arlo Smith, in town to drum up support for his bid for the Democratic nomination for state attorney general, was nearly skulled by a piece of plaster.

Smith was making a phone call in Union Station when part of the ceiling fell, landing six feet from him. “Sounded like an explosion,” said spokesman Mark Dann.

Why was Smith in a train station anyway? Bringing back the old whistle-stop campaign?

Not exactly.

Explained Dann: “It’s the only place in downtown L.A. where you can stop to make phone calls and don’t have to pay $7 for parking.”

It was the end of one problem, but just the start of another . . .

A customer ended an argument with a Torrance gas station attendant by firing a gun into the air, then pointed the weapon at the attendant and drove off.

The attendant grabbed a crowbar, jumped into his own car and gave chase.

The customer, now alarmed, dialed 911 on his cellular phone and reported that “a crazy guy was chasing him,” said Torrance Police Lt. Mike Tamble.

He pulled into a county sheriff’s substation in Lomita--where he was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon.

Nutty driving story No. 2: About 27,000 pounds of almond shells spilled onto the Foothill Freeway in Irwindale Friday after two big rigs collided. One driver suffered minor injuries but was not hospitalized, California Highway Patrol Sgt. Jim Jackson said.

Irwindale, of course, is a couple of miles north of Walnut.

You may recall the other day that a USC journalism student, asked to name her favorite news show, nominated the sit-com, “Murphy Brown.” Doesn’t sound so silly now in light of the subsequent announcement that CBS news personality Connie Chung has been signed to make an appearance on the sit-com. No word on who Chung will portray.